Humayun's Tomb - Architecture of the Humayun's Tomb in Delhi

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Humayun's Tomb - Delhi

Humayun, the eldest son of Babur, was the second emperor of the Mughal Empire. Unfortunately, he was not able to rule for a long time and met with his untimely death after he fell from the stairs of the Sher Mandal library. Haji Begum or Bega Begum, the Queen of Humayun built this tomb in the memeory of his husband. Humayun's Tomb was the first building to be constructed during the reign of Akbar. The tomb was built from 1562-1572 AD in Delhi. It was constructed with the help of a Persian architect, Mirak Mirza Ghiyuath. The Humayun's Tomb shows the Persian art influence. It is the best example of the early Mughal style tomb in Delhi and is a worth visting place, preferably before visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra.

The tomb can be compared with the tombs of Timur and Bibi Khanam at Samarqand. The design of the Taj Mahal is inspired from the Humayun's Tomb. The Humayun's Tomb is also listed in the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. It is the first significant example of the Mughal architecture with high arches and double dome, which occurred for the first time in India. The tomb is also famous as several famous Mughal personalities were also buried here like the Hamida Begum, Akbar's mother; Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan's son and Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal Emperor.
Location of the Tomb
Humayun's tomb is situated on the Mathura road near its crossing with the Lodi Road. The tomb is situated on the bank of the Yamuna River near the shrine of the Nizamuddin Auliya Chisti, a Sufi saint. 
Architecture of the Tomb
Humayun's Tomb was the first garden tomb made in India. The Humayun's Tomb is set in the middle of a geometrically arranged garden. In Islam, there is a concept that paradise is set somewhere in the middle of the garden with water flowing through it. It is called the Char Bagh as the entire garden is divided into four parts. High rubble built walls surround the square garden which is divided into four large squares separated by causeways and channels. Each square is divided again into smaller squares by pathways creating a Char Bagh style as in a typical Mughal garden. The laying down of the gardens in the Persian style was introduced by Babur and continued till the period of Shah Jahan.
The enclosure is entered through two double-storeyed gateways on the western side. The baradari or the pavilion occupies the center of the eastern wall and the hamam or the bath chamber the center of northern wall. The tomb is octagonal in shape and placed over a platform with colonnades, under which there are numerous graves of various nobles and workers of the Humayun's period. A great central chamber has four offsets, double storeyed in height with arcade on their facades. Their openings closed with perforated screens. Three emphatic arches dominate each side, the central one being the highest. The central room contains the cenotaph of the emperor Humayun and his queen Bega Begum. This plan is repeated on the second storey, and a 42.5 m high double dome of marble surmounts the roof with the chhatris placed around it. The structure is built with red sandstone, but white and black marble has been used to relieve the monotony. The marble is used largely in the borders. The dome is made of white marble. The Humayun's tomb is the first Indian building to use the Persian concept of a double dome. 
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